forceps caused death

An obstetrician at a NY hospital used the forceps so forcefully during delivering a baby that the baby's head was internally detached from the spine, leading to the newborn's immediate death. According to the NY Post, Mother Megan Stirnweiss, 23, was devastated and proceeded to file a suit against her Long Island doctor.

How the Tragedy Happened

When Stirnweiss's delivery at home became too painful, she opted to go to the nearest hospital as a last-minute decision but little did she know that she would not return with her bundle of joy. 

Southampton Hospital, where Megan decided to go on Dec. 30, 2018, took her in, but when she reached the labor room, she saw what she described as a table of "medieval torture devices" set up by the hospital staff. A little while later, the doctor, Pedro Segarra, 60, arrived with forceps. Stirnweiss's mother, who was accompanying her, also raised her concern and asked the doctor whether it was safe to use forceps and whether there were any drawbacks to using them.

"Virtually nothing," was Dr. Segarra's reply to the question, and he proceeded to use the forceps on Stirnweiss. He clamped the forceps with such force around the baby's head that the baby's spine was severed from his head internally, causing instant death. The pull was so aggressive that Stirnweiss, who was holding on to the hospital bed, was dragged to the edge.

The lawsuit registered at the Suffolk County Supreme Court stated that the doctor tugged the forceps around the fetus’s head very forcefully, so much so that it pulled Stirnweiss off the bed, and wobbled her powerfully until the baby was delivered.

The baby who was "internally decapitated" was born blue, did not cry, and was immediately taken away by hospital staff. He was named Matthew Jacob by Megan ( a cook in the U.S. Coast Guard) and her husband, Matthew.

But the baby gave "the ultimate gift of life" and was kept alive for a week so that his organs could be donated to others. A baby in Toronto received his lungs. 

Stirnweiss's lawyer said that her client wanted "accountability.” Apart from the baby being, in essence, murdered by medical negligence, Stirnweiss was physically, mentally, and emotionally traumatized. Her internal organs and structures were lacerated, and she was in severe pain, according to her lawsuit. 

When the NY Post contacted Dr. Segarra, he declined to comment.

The use of forceps had been relatively low for the past decade but had become more frequent when concerns regarding C-sections' risks began to emerge. But according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Paper, the use of forceps could cause "severe birth trauma" for first-time mothers. 

The Legal Aspect

Medical malpractice at NYC hospitals is responsible for the deaths of dozens of people each year. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to medical negligence, you’re entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit with the help of a reliable medical negligence lawyer. 

For cases of medical malpractice in NYC, you should consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney who will guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit. A medical malpractice lawyer having experience with cases similar to yours can increase your chances of getting justice.


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